Borken Telephone is an album of music about the history of miscommunication by way of geeky stuff like cryptography, video games, philosophy, and Dungeons & Dragons! It opens and closes with a multi-artist collaborative musical broken telephone experiment involving some of the world’s geekiest musicians!
My friend Tico Souza is helping me produce it, and here are some awesome things you should know about it:
1) It has 12 hilarious, catchy tracks about the same geeky topics as my webcomic Rock, Paper, Cynic, featuring special guests The Doubleclicks, Adam WarRock and Kirby Krackle!
2) The first and last track are bring written via an epic game of musical broken telephone featuring Professor Shyguy, MC Lars, Sarah Donner, Kari Maaren, Zach Sherwin, Debs and Errol, Nerds With Guitars, Ask Lovecraft, Alter Ego and more!
3) Rewards include distribution of albums/downloads by CD/USB, carrier pigeons, messages in bottles, cave paintings, mysterious destiny amulets you can leave with newborns and MORE!
4) You can download 3 free demo songs right now even if you don’t back the project! (See below!) You can pledge “pirate master” reward and share your downloads with as many people as you want.
I believe music is a universe language. I also believe language is universally confusing, ridiculous, and only as interesting as the mischief you can make with it!
That’s why I want to attempt a musical mad science experiment that will push the language of music to its limits, and give us the chance to have a shit-ton of fun in the process. Basically, I’ve lined up a team of incredible geek musicians who will be part of a gigantic game of musical telephone.
Borken Telephone’s title track is a simple 50-second song about a game of broken telephone gone horribly wrong. I’m going to send a demo of it to the 1st guest musician, who will listen to it ONLY ONCE and then write and record their own demo version of it based on what they remember and stuff they make up to fill in any blanks. Their version gets sent to the next musician, and so on.
We’ll get to see it morph through lots of awesome artists and musical styles, including folk, alternative, rock, chiptunes, rap and more. I’ll cover the last song in the chain as the last song on the album, closing the loop! All of the recordings are going to be made available for download by ANYONE who pledges the project.
Here’s who’s playing (so far)!
Borken Telephone is going to be my first album recorded with real studio equipment and musicians, and produced by my friend and musical collaborator Tico Souza! It has 12 songs that are silly, sarcastic and sometimes even poignant. Imagine that you took all your weirdest hypotheticals and geeky “what ifs” that come up when you’re daydreaming or talking with friends, and then tried bringing them to life in songs. That’s what you’re getting!
- What if a bodiless AI had a huge crush on its creator but had no way of expressing itself?
- What if you performed a love song for the NSA by singing security watchwords near cameras and phones?
- What if a philosopher used epistemology to go on a zombie-slaying spree?
I don’t have the answers, but I’ve got songs that have a lot of fun with the questions.
You should definitely acquaint yourself with my music and see if you like it! Here are three demo tunes you can download for free. They will all be on the album with a full friggin’ band and proper mixing/mastering!
You can also stream the 3 songs here:
Hello NSA (A Love Song of Mass Surveillance)
I Don’t Need You (I’ve Got Netflix)
Zeroes and Ones
These were all recorded at home with mattresses against the wall to stop sound from echoing. Imagine how these would sound in a proper studio with a band of musicians! AMAZING!
And imagine The Doubleclicks were featured on a song about geeks falling in love and Kirby Krackle and Adam WarRock collaborated on a fake-protest song about Mario Kart violence? That’s what I’ve got planned!
I absolutely do need your help to make this vision happen! There is no project without you! Take a look at the rewards on the right and find one that works for you, and please consider sharing the project with friends who would like it!
The $7,500 budget covers the basic expenses of producing this album and some of the Borken Telephone chain. With more money, though, we could commission even more musicians to extend the chain and push the experiment further! Here’s what I’ve got planned so far, with many more goals to come!
$8,000 = A challenger appears: Sarah Donner! You might know her from original jams, like The Rebuttal of Shrodinger’s Cat, or her series where she sings songs to cats who aren’t listening, or for her work with The Oatmeal performing sing-a-longs to his comics.
$10,000 = A challenger appears: Zach Sherwin! The broken telephone welcomes comedian/writer/rapper Zach Sherwin, known for his insightful, hilarious YouTube videos, like this one about listening to Serial, and appearances and writing on Epic Rap Battles of History.
$12,000 = A challenger appears: MC Lars! The broken telephone game welcomes the ever-spittin’ post-punk laptop rapper MC Lars! Did you see the new music video he just dropped as an ode to Hans Moleman? IT’S INCREDIBLE!
$15,000 = A haiku jam! Haiku master Write With Lightning (aka James Stevenson) and I will co-write a song entirely in haiku and perform it for you! We’ll make the recording available for download. It’ll be GRAND!
$14,000 = A challenger appears: SECRET IDENTITY! A new guest will be added to the broken telephone game–announcement coming soon!
$16,000 = A challenger appears: SECRET IDENTITY! A new guest will be added to the broken telephone game–announcement coming soon!
$18,000 = A challenger appears: SECRET IDENTITY! A new guest will be added to the broken telephone game–announcement coming soon!
$20,000 = A challenger appears: SECRET IDENTITY! A new guest will be added to the broken telephone game–announcement coming soon!
There are a lot of artists involved the game of broken telephone, but this is my third Kickstarter so I have a lot of experience organizing projects with lots of contributors.
For my last project, 365 backers helped me hit 272% of my goal for the world’s first anti-self-help comic book and work with 40 guest artists, including Zach Weiner (Saturday morning breakfast Cereal) Abby Howard (Junior Scientist Power Hour), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Adventure Time) and Rob DenBleyker (Cyanide and Happiness) to make it a #1 Amazon bestselling collection of comics.
I have the experience to handle a project of this scope. I’m also working with Tico Souza, an incredible and dedicated producer and musician, to keep recording on schedule, and I’ve set the delivery deadline as March to give myself 3 months more than I actually need, just in case this project grows in ways I didn’t initially expect.
As for the zanier rewards: over the coming updates I’ll explain in more detail how they’re going to be executed and how I chose them. I’ve had phone calls with the carrier pigeon service to find out how they operate, what their limitations are and how many birds they can fly within a certain time-frame, and I’m really happy with the answers.